E – news update 3 March 2008

CLIMATE

1.1. EU nations sound objections to climate change plan
29 February 2008, AFP
BRUSSELS, EU nations raised on Thursday a host of objections to new proposals for fighting climate change, setting the stage for tough negotiations over the package.
In the first debate of the plans since they were proposed in January, EU members lined up to call for more flexibility and greater attention for industrial competitiveness while also pushing their national wish-lists.
Last month, the European Commission set targets for EU member states to slash greenhouse gases, calling on them to boost renewable energy use while also unveiling plans to make industry pay for the right to pollute.
The proposed strategy is supposed to put the European Union on track to meeting a target of cutting the bloc’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.
The commission wants member states to reach an agreement on the package by the end of the year, so that it can go before the European Parliament by June 2009.
In the debate, many member states argued that their individual circumstances should be better taken into account in setting targets for them to cut their emissions.
For instance, Cyprus called for its island geography, cut off from outside energy grids, to be taken into account while Romania said that too strict restrictions could encourage its industry to flee to neighbouring countries outside the EU.
Coal-rich Poland called for the package to give a bigger role for investments in cleaner versions of fossil fuel while Finland argued for peat to be taken into account in the calculation of its biofuel target.
Sweden, which has the highest renewable energy target under the commission’s plans, gave a mostly warm reaction to the package but stressed that the price of actions should not outweigh the benefits.
"It is important for all of us that we achieve a cost-effective way of meeting the overall objective," Swedish Energy Minister Maud Olofsson told EU colleagues.
There was also broad support for making sure that the use of biofuels in the future does not cause more harm than good, amid a recent stream of studies suggesting that such plant-derived energy has unforeseen environmental and social drawbacks.
"It’s clear that the road to the second generation of biofuels is not as clear as we thought," said Dutch Economy Minister Maria Van Der Hoeven.
Link: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jawK24WdRHo3CgH-9oVYFVevh4wg

1.2. France, Germany warn EU climate plan risks jobs
25 February 2008, Guardian.co.uk
Brussels risks sacrificing European jobs with its plans to cut industrial greenhouse gas emissions, the euro zone’s big two economies France and Germany said on Monday.
Europe should lead by example but must not "change the competitiveness of our economy and our companies" by adopting tougher pollution measures than in other parts of the world," said Herve Novelli, France’s junior minister for industry.
The European Commission announced proposals in January for curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the 27-country EU as part of the bloc’s strategy for fighting climate change after 2012.
EU countries hope to agree on the reform this year but the Commission wants to defer the question of special treatment for energy-intensive industries until 2010 or 2011, so it can see whether other countries have agreed to a global emissions deal.
Novelli told reporters at a meeting of EU industry ministers that "2011 is too far away".
As well as France and Germany, Luxembourg, Finland, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and other countries wrote to EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen to ask for swifter decisions on how the system will affect big energy consumers.
France wants the Commission to introduce what would serve as a "carbon tax" against imports from countries that do not agree to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
Commission officials say such a system could be challenged at the World Trade Organisation and drawing one up now would undermine negotiations with developing countries about a successor to the Kyoto Protocol agreement on climate change.
Germany’s Deputy Economy Minister Bernd Pfaffenbach told reporters his country’s priority was to press for free carbon dioxide emissions rights for big power consumers.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said that if there is no global solution, the EU would look at interim measures such as free emissions permits for energy-intensive industries.
Executives from energy-intensive industries in Europe, such as producers of steel, cement and chemicals, have warned that big investment decisions are being put on hold until the EU hammers out its plan for fighting climate change after 2012.
Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7335734

1.3. Climate crisis getting short shrift in US president race: Gore
2 March 2008, AFP
Former US vice president and renowned climate change fighter Al Gore said Saturday that the global warming crisis is getting short shrift in this year’s presidential race.
Gore used the stage at a prestigious Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in Monterey, California, to call for activism to push climate change to the top of the candidates’ political agendas.
"As important as it is to change the light bulbs, it is more important to change the laws," Gore told an elite gathering of scientists, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and Internet superstars.
"We have to become incredibly active as citizens in our democracy. In order to solve the climate crisis we have to solve the democracy crisis, and we have one."
Gore took solace in the fact that leading Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama along with the Republican Party’s all-but-certain nominee John McCain are promising "leadership" regarding climate change.
Global warming has been given minimal attention in presidential debates, which have ironically been sponsored by "something with an Orwellian label" of Clean Coal, Gore observed.
A famous book by science fiction author George Orwell depicts a society in which government leaders control citizens with obtuse or oxymoronic vocabulary, stripping people of words for critical thoughts.
"We have to speak up," Gore said. "We have sclerosis in our democracy. Go on the Internet, connect with people."
The Alliance for Climate Protection established in California by Gore will launch a national campaign to increase the heat on candidates regarding how they will fight global warming, according to Gore.
Gore said aspiring presidents should guarantee actions including taxes on carbon dioxide and a moratorium on coal-fueled power plants that don’t recapture atmosphere-altering gas.
The new president should immediately sign the Kyoto protocol to fight climate change, ending this country’s shameful distinction of being the only hold-out, according to Gore.
"We have had any talk on that scale, but I think we will by November," Gore said of focusing candidates on climate change.
Gore called for a "global Marshall plan" to combat global warming, which is a culprit in poverty, disease, drought and other societal ills.
"There is a bridge between the climate crisis and the crisis of extreme poverty in the world," Gore said.
"One aspect of economic growth is a pattern of consumption that morphed into overconsumption," Gore said while linking the excesses of the rich to the woes of the poor.
"The solution to the climate crisis is going to involve less overconsumption. But, political will needs to be mobilized before we can mobilize resources."
Gore likened efforts to extract oil from tar sand or shale to a junkie injecting drugs in veins between his toes after those in his arms and legs collapse from abuse.
"We have to stop this, and the truth is we can," Gore said. "We have the technology. If we just had one week’s worth of what we spend on the Iraq war we could be well on our way to solving this challenge."
Link: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hTTPP_0xIhrRmq2-aCf76Eed_sAg

1.4. New US climate offer ‘too little’
27 February 2008, BBC News
A senior European official has described America’s latest offer on climate change as far too little, far too late.
The US climate chief James Connaughton told the BBC that President Bush was ready this year to sign up to an international long-term goal of huge emissions cuts by 2050.
He said the US was also prepared to agree to internationally-binding medium-term goals for its own greenhouse gas emissions.
"America’s helping lead the way among the major economies on the way forward after the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012," he said.
"Included in that is a commitment from the US to join in an international-binding agreement as long as the other major economies do too."
Smarter presentation?
But European climate experts are angry that the White House still refuses to set a date for halting its growth in emissions.
One government official said: "This is nowhere near enough. The rest of the world only cares about tangible US emissions reductions. Until they come up with firm figures for reductions, the rest is meaningless."
Another EU official said there was nothing new in the American offer – but he said the US was becoming much smarter in its presentation of climate change policy, emphasising what it was prepared to do rather than what it would refuse to do.
On Wednesday, Mr Connaughton drew attention to the eight pieces of legislation enacted by the US to increase fuel efficiency across different sectors.
He said the US had offered billions of dollars of incentives towards clean technologies.
He also stressed that the US did not expect China and India to make cuts in emissions for the time being – but wanted them to agree legally-binding plans to restrict their growth in emissions. Without this, he said, cuts in the rich world would be futile. EU unrealistic?
He also referred to a consistent theme – the failure of the EU to match up to its own rhetoric on climate change.
The EU has pledged to cut CO2 by 20% to 30% in the next 12 years.
But the US says this is unrealistic and will certainly not be achieved on current trends.
One EU official said: "Frankly, we have had global climate policy held up by the White House for years. President Bush won’t be in office to sign off the next climate agreement so we really no longer really care what he thinks."
Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7268048.stm

1.5. G8, EU make progress in climate commitments: study
28 February 2008, AFP
OTTAWA — The Group of Eight industrialized nations and the European Union have made greater strides this past year than previously in meeting their commitments to stem global warming, said a report Wednesday.
"This year, compliance has increased noticeably across climate-related commitments," said the G8 Research Group’s annual compliance report.
The research Group based at the University of Toronto evaluated whether or not commitments made by the eight nations at talks in June 2007 in Heiligendamm, Germany, have actually been met.
"In general terms, compliance with climate and energy commitments was higher than with those in all other policy areas except trade," the report said.
It looked at 23 key commitments out of 329 in the areas of trade, poverty, disease, energy, security, nuclear nonproliferation, and climate change.
"Yet the prevalence of ‘partial compliance’ scores suggests that ambitious targets and notable policy statements have not (all) been adequately followed-up by concrete policy actions and budgetary allocations."
The final results revealed that the EU has done the most to fulfill its Heiligendamm commitments.
Conversely, Russia was the only G8 member to attain a negative score, as it was assessed to be non-compliant with two commitments: promoting less emission-intensive energy production, and supporting climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.
The EU and G8 nations had also pledged at the Heiligendamm summit to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, promote less emission-intensive energy consumption, and curb deforestation.
Japan had a "relatively strong performance," ahead of Germany, the United States and Britain. Canada, France and Italy trailed because they were found to be in partial compliance.
The authors of the study believed that the higher compliance scores recorded this year were due to growing media coverage of the climate crisis that coincided with the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007.
This created an impetus for governments to meet their obligations and introduce new climate policies, it said.
Host Germany had made climate change "an important item" at the Heiligendamm talks, raising expectations that the negotiations would produce an ambitious plan, and renewed will to take policy action.
But the prevalence of partial compliance scores may mean such summits led governments to also make "lofty and far-reaching policy statements that meet public expectations without implementing these into concrete policy actions."
Link: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gZHtBRB9Cp1jk2ueDyNYJFOIVk2g

1.6. Japan plans climate change talks
28 February 2008, The Times
OKYO – Japan said today it was arranging a meeting of national leaders to address climate change as it prepares to hold the Group of Eight summit of major industrial economies this summer.
A newspaper report said Japan has invited heads of state and government from 16 nations, which together account for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, for parallel talks to the G8 summit.
A United Nations (UN) conference in Bali in December set a goal of reaching a deal to succeed the landmark Kyoto Protocol by the end of next year.
The United States, the leading opponent of Kyoto, has recently tried to demonstrate a leadership role including by gathering negotiators from the 16 major emitting nations for talks in late January in Hawaii.
"In the chairman’s summary of the climate talks in Hawaii, participants discussed holding talks of heads of state around the middle of this year to kickstart the Bali action plan," said Koji Yagi, head of the Japanese foreign ministry’s climate change division.
"The countries involved are currently discussing that, but nothing is decided," he told AFP.
The Asahi Shimbun, quoting unnamed sources, said that Japan had invited leaders of the 16 nations for the parallel summit from July 7 to 9 in the northern mountain resort of Toyako.
The talks would aim to come up with medium- and long-term goals by each nation to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions blamed for heating up the planet.
The newspaper also said Japan was hoping to invite more African nations to take part in the Toyako summit, which Tokyo wants to focus in large part on global health and poverty.
The 16 nations that took part in the Hawaii talks were Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, South Africa and the United States.
The United States is the only major industrial nation to reject the Kyoto treaty, which President George W. Bush argues is unfair as it makes no demands of emerging economies such as China.
Japan has championed the Kyoto Protocol, which is named for its ancient capital. But it is far behind in meeting its own commitments as its economy wakes up from a long slumber.
Link: http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=716485

1.7. Radiohead join battle against climate change
27 February 2008, Telegraph.co.uk
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has urged Europe to commit to yearly targets to reduce its carbon emissions.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is calling on Europe to cut carbon emissions
Launching the Friends of the Earth’s Big Ask Europe campaign, the musician called on the European Union to set stringent emission targets – 30 per cent reductions by 2020 and 90 per cent by 2050.
The campaign brings together Friends of the Earth groups from 17 countries which have urged their governments to sign up to legally-binding annual targets so commitments were met.
They also want the EU to force members to cut greenhouse gases year-on-year through a strong compliance system. Friends of the Earth Europe had criticised the European Union’s proposal to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, for giving no guarantee these targets would be met.
The European campaign comes after the Big Ask in the UK, which helped secure the anticipated Climate Change Law. The bill, expected to be introduced this summer, would make the UK the first country to set legally binding targets for cutting greenhouse gases.
Yorke, who helped launch the UK campaign, said: "We will never wake from the nightmare of climate change unless our national governments and the European Union act. They are the only ones who can put the structures in place that will help us tackle climate change."
"By committing to annual cuts in our emissions at a national and European level we can play our part in tackling climate change and set an example to the rest of the world to follow."
Friends of the Earth Europe’s chairman Martin Rocholl said: "It is too easy for governments to ignore long term targets on climate change. Annual targets will make today’s and tomorrow’s politicians accountable for cutting emissions."
"By taking action, Europe can lead the way in the fight against climate change and show how countries can boost their economies, stay competitive, create jobs and improve the environment at the same time."
Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/02/27/earadiohead127.xml
and http://www.foeeurope.org/press/2008/Feb27_FoEE_launches_Big_Ask_across_Europe.html

1.8. EU governments start tough climate change talks
28 February 2008, Guardian.co.uk
BRUSSELS – European Union governments raised a string of objections on Thursday to the bloc’s flagship plan on fighting climate change, promising tough negotiations on carbon dioxide emission curbs and the use of renewable energy.
At an initial debate among energy ministers, most of the EU’s 27 member states said the blueprint for moving to a low-carbon economy, as presented last month by the European Commission, was a good starting point for talks.
But many raised questions over specific measures, such as overhauling the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme or national targets for the share of energy produced from renewable sources.
The Commission’s proposals aim to implement targets set by EU leaders last year to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by at least one-fifth by 2020 from 1990 levels, increase the share of renewables in power production to 20 percent and boost the share of biofuels used in transport to 10 percent by the same date.
"The Commission’s proposal provides a good starting point for our debate … But it is essential that cost-efficiency is at the heart of our discussions," said Shriti Vedera, Britain’s secretary of state for business and competitiveness.
Marco Stradiotto, an Italian secretary of state for energy, said: "Energy efficiency was not given enough room in the Commission’s proposal.
He added there was a risk some industries would move out of the EU as a result of the scheme unless an agreement with major world powers was reached on curbing emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
EU governments hope to clinch a final deal on the package by April 2009 in negotiations with the European Parliament, but the debate on Thursday showed talks would be tough.
Officials made few concrete demands at this stage, but the Czech Republic and Poland criticised plans that would force power plants to buy 100 percent of their emissions permits from 2013, when the overhauled Emissions Trading Scheme takes effect.
"Because of our energy mix … we would like the scheme to be phased in gradually," said Czech Industry Minister Martin Riman, adding that otherwise "our electricity prices could rise by several dozen of percent".
He said his country’s target for renewable energy use, 13 percent, would be very difficult to achieve. Similar doubts were voiced by Sweden and Greece.
Finland said it would not achieve its renewable energy target if imports of lumber from Russia ended as a result, for example, of high duties.
Some countries said provisions to ensure that biofuels are produced without harming the environment should be sharpened.
Polish Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak proposed creating pan-EU rules for subsidising plants from which biofuels are produced.
"Nobody is entirely happy with our proposals, but this is a good sign, a sign that our proposal is a good basis for a compromise," said a senior Commission official.
Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7344294

ENERGY

2.1. Clean energy investment near $150 bln in 07 –study
28 February 2008, Reuters
Global investment in clean energy technologies soared 60 percent last year to $148.4 billion, London-based researchers New Energy Finance said on Thursday.
The research company was updating its previous, preliminary 2007 estimate of $117 billion, after taking into account deals which closed towards the end of the year.
Europe, Middle East and Africa topped the league regionally at $76.2 billion, helped partly by the $6.6 billion public listing of Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables (IBR.MC: Quote, Profile, Research), compared to the Americas which followed at $42.9 billion, the report found.
Investment in clean energy in 2007 represented 19 percent of global funding of energy industry infrastructure, it said, but uncertainty clouded the next steps.
"There’s enormous uncertainty about the trajectory of the sector," said Michael Liebreich, New Energy Finance chief executive, citing the dependence of the sector on public support to finance a switch away from fossil fuels.
In addition, a global credit squeeze is restricting the flow of capital to markets generally.
Another worry for the clean energy sector was accelerated funding especially of publicly quoted companies, and the risk of over-valuation reminiscent of the dotcom bubble.
Most clean energy alternatives are more expensive than conventional fuels like coal and gas, and governments support them to help fund the fight against climate change and energy dependency.
Within the clean energy sector solar power has seen by far the strongest investment growth over the past four years, the report said, at 254 percent per year since 2004.
But some solar stocks have seen severe falls in the past month, underlining bubble concerns, while biofuel investment actually fell in 2007 after a period of plunging margins.
Wind power topped investment among clean energy technologies in 2007, at $50.2 billion invested and some 20.6 gigawatts (GW) installed, while solar came second with $28.6 billion invested and 2.6 GW installed, the report estimated.
The report defined new investment as the capital which companies raised from private equity and venture capital funds, as they grow, or from selling shares when they list on publicly quoted markets. It also included money raised to finance assets such as wind farms.
Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUSL2892386220080228

2.2. EU funds for fifty harmful projects
25 February 2008, FoE EU
NGOs announce ‘RegioScars’ – the three most ill-conceived projects in CEE countries
Brussels, 25 February – A new map with details of 50 environmentally damaging and economically dubious infrastructure projects in Central and Eastern Europe was launched by CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe in Brussels today [1]. Based on the most extensive investigation to date, the map entitled ‘Cohesion or Collision?’ shows controversial projects with a total cost of EUR 22 billion. The projects are either already financed, or planned to be financed, by EU structural and cohesion funds and/or the European Investment Bank (EIB) [2].
Martin Konecny, Coordinator for EU funds at Friends of the Earth Europe said: "EU funding support for Central and Eastern European countries is necessary and welcome. But if the money drives reckless developments and environmental destruction, its potential to deliver benefits is being wasted. The map shows that harmful projects are unfortunately not limited to a few isolated exceptions. Yet these problems are wholly unnecessary because alternatives exist. The European Commission and the EIB should call a halt to such projects and demand that alternative solutions are properly assessed."
The total cost of the 50 projects is EUR 22 billion, of which EUR 10 billion would be paid by EU funds and further billions by the EIB. Some of the projects have been approved already, but most are planned in the budgetary period 2007-2013. [3]
The projects on the map include:
* 18 waste incinerators promoted at the expense of recycling which is better for both the environment and economic development
* 14 motorways ineptly routed through valuable natural areas or residential zones regardless of possible alternative routes
* 8 river engineering and other water management projects set to destroy unique natural sites
Anelia Stefanova, EU-affairs coordinator at CEE Bankwatch Network said: "Recklessly prepared projects lead to disputes and delays and thereby jeopardize the ability of the new member states to absorb the full amounts of EU funds available. Our aim with this map of controversial projects is to warn about the problems before they happen – most of the 50 projects are still under preparation."
On the day that European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Huebner awarded ‘RegioStars’ for the most innovative projects but also appeared before the European Parliament to explain discrepancies in EU funding, CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe also revealed their selection of ‘RegioScars’ – the three most ill-conceived projects planned for EU funding in the new member states in the 2007-2013 period.
The following projects were selected by an NGO jury based on environmental, economic and social criteria:
1) A scheme for building 9 waste incinerators for EUR 1 billion in Poland
2) Via Baltica expressway in Poland
3) R52 expressway (Brno-Vienna connection) in the Czech Republic.
Magda Stoczkiewicz, Policy coordinator at CEE Bankwatch Network commented: "The plan to build nine polluting waste incinerators throughout Poland will divert money from the much more needed and effective recycling services. This is unjustifiable at a time when Poland recycles merely 3 per cent of its municipal waste. That’s why this scheme fully deserves the ‘RegioScar’ for worst project. The Via Baltica and R52 expressways in Poland and the Czech Republic are second and third worst as they will both damage highly valuable natural sites and landscapes despite the availability of much less damaging, shorter and less costly alternative routes."
Link: http://www.foeeurope.org/press/2008/Feb25_EU_funds_for_fifty_harmful_projects.html and publication at: http://www.foeeurope.org/publications/2008/CollisionMap2008.pdf

2.3. Trading must not hamper renewables target
28 February 2008, Greenpeace
Belgium — Greenpeace welcomes the broadly positive reception by ministers of the renewable energy directive published by the Commission in January, but warns member states that a flexibility mechanism must not undermine the EU’s chances of reaching its 20% renewables objective.
“The EU must ensure that a flexibility mechanism helps rather than hampers the 20% target. We do not want a situation where a few giant companies can profit from trading, while increasing costs for European consumers and jeopardising the EU’s ambition to develop clean energy,” said Frauke Thies, Greenpeace EU renewable energy campaigner.
Greenpeace supports any flexibility mechanism where member states can trade renewable credits once they have reached their national targets, but believes that trading between companies, rather that states, could spell the end for successful support measures for renewable energy. With growing evidence proving the unsustainability of most biofuels, Greenpeace also urges ministers to drop the 10% renewable sub-target for the transport sector.
Negotiations are still ongoing on whether ministers will endorse the separation of energy network ownership from energy supply, also known as unbundling. ”Greenpeace endorses the Commission’s proposal for full ownership unbundling and the establishment of a level playing field, while underlining the need for a strong European regulator,” said Thies. “We reject attempts by certain member states and big business to hold on to de-facto monopolies that create unfair market conditions for new operators, such as renewable energy providers,” she added.
European ministers are also still discussing about the focus of energy-related technological research for the coming years. “The Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan should exclude support for expensive technologies that bear an unacceptable environmental cost, such as nuclear energy, and that are mere distractions, like carbon capture and storage,” said Thies. “The SET Plan cannot effectively promote an innovative and sustainable energy system based on efficiency, renewables and smart energy grid operation, while at the same time perpetuating an outdated centralised energy model.”
Link: http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/press-centre/press-releases2/trading-must-not-hamper-renewa

CONFERENCES

3.1. World Biofuels Markets, 12-14 March 2008, Brussels Expo, Belgium
With 1300 participants from 58 countries attending in 2007, the World Biofuels Markets Congress is Europe’s largest gathering of biofuels professionals. Since its inception in 2006, the congress has grown exponentially to become the must-attend conference for industry experts looking to share best practices and attract new clients.
Link: www.worldbiofuelsmarkets.com

3.2. International Climate Conference opens in Oslo, 5 – 6 March 2008
Hosted by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, an international climate conferance opens in Oslo on Thursday. The conference is part of both the follow-up to the Bali Action Plan and preparations for the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009.
The two-day conference “Changing the way we develop: dealing with disasters and climate change”, is being arranged under the umbrella of the Oslo Policy Forum 2008, in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and ProVention Consortium.
The focus will be on the political and economic challenges involved in adaptation to climate change and the need for more proactive efforts in this area. The conference is expected to result in practical recommendations on how adaptation to climate change and prevention of humanitarian crises can be integrated into development cooperation.
Ghana, Malawi, Vietnam and Norway will be represented at political level. Bangladesh, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Italy, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK are among the countries that will be represented at senior-official level. The Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UNDP directors of development policies and crisis prevention, and the Secretary-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will participate, as well as Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University) and others.
Link: http://www.norwaypost.no/cgi-bin/norwaypost/imaker?id=132749

3.3. Third Meeting of the enforcement branch of the Compliance Committee
Bonn, Germany, 4-6 March 2008
The enforcement branch of the Compliance Committee of the Kyoto Protocol is convening from 4 to 6 March to consider a question of implementation. The meeting is taking place at Langer Eugen (UN Campus), Hermann-Ehlers-Strasse 10, 53113 Bonn, Germany. Live and on-demand webcast coverage will be provided.
More at: http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/compliance/enforcement_branch/items/3785.php

3.4. UNFCCC expert meeting on methods and tools and data observations, under the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
Mexico City, Mexico, 4-7 March 2008
The SBSTA requested the secretariat, under the guidance of the Chair of the SBSTA, to organize an expert meeting, before the twenty-eighth session of the SBSTA, with the participation of Parties, users and developers of methods and tools, relevant organizations, and representatives from sectoral and other communities to advance consideration of methods and tools. The SBSTA also requested the secretariat to include consideration of relevant matters on data and observations in this expert meeting.
More at: http://unfccc.int/adaptation/sbsta_agenda_item_adaptation/items/4259.php

3.5. Bangkok Climate Change Talks 2008 – AWG-LCA 1 and AWG-KP 5
The first session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 1) and the first part of the fifth session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 5 ) will be held from 31 March to 4 April 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
More at: http://unfccc.int/meetings/intersessional/awg-lca_1_and_awg-kp_5/items/4288.php

3.6. NEW GHG EMISSION TRADING SCHEME IN THE EU. CAN IT DELIVER WHAT IT PROMISES?
International conference on the future of GHG emission trading in the EU
Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 20-21 2008
On January 23 2008 the European Commission presented a set of proposals in support to reach at least 20% reduction of the GHG emissions till 2020 by providing 10% of renewable energy in transport, determining the share of renewable energy of 20% , increasing energy efficiency by 20% and by defining new EU greenhouse gases emission trading scheme ( EU ETS). Until now EU ETS has not fulfilled its promises to deliver effective and efficient reduction of the GHG emissions from the largest emitters thus in on the front line of the Slovene EU Presidency the new ETS should be in the focus of both climate protection and competitiveness of EU economy concerns.
More info at: http://www.se-f.si/en/ETS

3.7. European Patent Forum 2008, 6/7 May 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Inventing a cleaner future: Climate change and the opportunties for IP
The drastic changes in world climate can no longer be ignored and the need to find intelligent solutions to mitigate the effects is obvious. That is why the European Patent Forum 2008 is dedicated to finding answers to the question:
How can the fields of patenting and intellectual property support innovations that benefit the environment and counteract climate change?
More info at: http://www.epo.org/about-us/events/epf2008.html

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